Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Artificial Intelligence and Me

"The upheavals [of artificial intelligence] can escalate quickly and become scarier and even cataclysmic. 

Imagine how a medical robot originally programmed to rid cancer, could conclude that the best way to obliterate cancer is to exterminate humans who are genetically prone to the disease."
- Nick Bilton, tech columnist wrote in the New York Times

What Is Going On Out There
Okay...Nick's view on AI may be a bit much, but that doesn't mean that taking the deep dive into the world of artificial intelligence isn't a potentially risky endeavor.

Consider what's at stake in your world:
- your employer brand integrity
- consistent messaging and tone
- avoidance of potential discriminatory issues
- and needless mistakes being made over and over again

As you consider stepping into the world of AI in your HR organization, can you honestly say that you trust the technology solutions you are considering rolling out?

Who tested them?
What is their full / limited functionality?
Are you prepared to trust the results of the AI 'work' done in place of a human?

I'm Fired Up
As for me, I am absolutely fired up about what AI will mean for me in 2019! 

We are rolling out cutting edge tools that we have confidence will deliver for our clients.

In just the last few months major milestones have been achieved with a variety of solutions that move from basic clunky 'tech' to actual operationalized AI.

That is exciting stuff!

How About You
Is your CEO asking you about AI? What is your answer? Are you prepared to deliver in a world that is accelerating faster than ever? 

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Big 3

Today's post is short and to the point.

Transitioning to a new year means we sometimes think about making changes in our personal or professional lives.

Let's cut to the chase...

1. Pick three things to work on this year (not resolutions.)
2. Write them down with deadlines to make progress throughout the year.
3. Start today.

Stop with the self-talk noise.
Stop with the "I'm too busy excuse."

Just freaking go.

Happy New Year...and as always...

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

You Made My Day

I had something pretty cool happen recently. Someone told me that I "just made their day." Here's the coolest part... was a stranger involved public recognition
...and it leveraged his company's rewards program for the public to use

Wow! Right?

Practicing and Preaching
I've spent many years proclaiming the power of recognition. We all know it's an important tool for building relationships, trust, loyalty, and engagement. Sometimes I'm better at practicing it than preaching it, but I never lose sight of how impactful it can be.

The Story
Some of you may know that my professional life involves a heavy amount of travel; and with that, comes a familiarity with the staff of Southwest, the carrier I use. Well, one of the gate agents in Tampa is not only incredibly positive, but he is consistently positive every single day. 

Let's face it....gate agents don't get much glory. They don't sing you the safety instructions or bring you cans of water. They are stuck announcing flight delays or gate changes. 

Absolutely no glory whatsoever.

Well, Southwest has a rewards program whereby they send reward coupons to customers like me (think drink coupons, but targeted at recognizing their team members.) The coupons are personalized to me as a frequent customer, and allows me to recognize their team.

How good is that?

Which leads to his comment as I was walking by him to board the plane.

How About You
Are you doing more preaching than practicing when it comes to recognition in your organization? It's funny how it actually works out. His response made my day too.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Your Tops for 2018

For those of us who are devoted to Spotify we have just received our Top Songs list for 2018. It's not a big surprise to me that many of the songs near the top of the list are from bands I've seen this year. 

It's been a fantastic music I look back at it all.

Caught Up in the Moment
As I scanned through the long list of music I realized I had 'forgotten' some of the songs and bands. How could that happen so quickly? One day at the top of my playlist, and the next I don't even remember them?

How is that possible?

...and then I thought about all of the work my team has done this year...

One day I'm deep into an issue...and the next I don't even remember?

How is that possible?

Time to Reflect
As we stare down the end of another year, and before the blogosphere gets crowded with resolutions and fresh start messages, I thought my Spotify-moment was worth raising as a pathway to considering all of the work you and your team have accomplished this year.

If you're anything like me, the minute a big initiative is successfully completed I am going full speed into the next one...and now that I'm no longer, shall we say, young-ish, I don't always remember all of those successes.

I think something wonderfu is lost in the hustle to always launch the 'next big thing' as quickly as possible, don't you?

How About You

As you wrap things up for 2018, take some time to reflect with your team on the successes of the past year. Talk about those wins. Re-congratulate each other for quality work that made a difference. Savor those're part of a special group of people all working toward the same goals. 

That my friends is a blessing we should never take for granted.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Crash and Burn Leadership

Wait, what?

We're leaders. We don't have time for anything ever, let alone ourselves, right? 

We care for others!
We care for our teams!
We care for our CEOs!
We care for the employees!

We...crash and burn. That's what we do.

We crash. 

Give Give Give
What is it about being a dedicated leader that makes us all feel like we're supposed to work ourselves into oblivion? I mean, seriously...sometimes over the years I've pushed myself beyond what would be a reasonable limit.

And for what? How many of us were recognized for arriving at 6:00am everyday? I know the answer.

None of us.

But, wait a minute. Those early hours, late nights, and weekends diving into that task list paid off for us! We were on top of our workload...connected with everybody...and executed on time, every time.

But at what cost?

Self Care is Beast Mode
For those of you that believe self-care is a soft cop out I have news for you.

"There is no glory in pushing yourself so hard 
chasing an imagined super-hero image 
that you have nothing left to give. 
You've simply failed."

The real "A-players" of leadership focus on a lot more than their Inbox and task list. Here are a few things that make it to the top of their priority list:
- spending time listening to the employees
- exercising
- intentionally slowing down
- reading
- eating (reasonably) healthy
- meditating or praying
- networking for the sake of connecting, not for pure professional gain
- reading (a real book or a digital one)
- taking time off

...and you can continue to add to the list...

How About You
Do you matter enough to your organization, your team, your family and to yourself to go all beasty with your own self-care? It's not going's actually stepping up in a profound and impactful way.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Great Unsaid

"Oh, yes...he has always acted that way. It's just part of life here."

"She does that all the time...her team has learned to work around her."

"When he gets in one of his moods, look out!"

"She's always rude and interrupts..yet we hold everyone else accountable for that."

All Quiet on the Corporate Front
We've all experienced this bizarre phenomenon. Leaders are allowed to behave poorly, yet we're fast as lightning to hammer employees who act the same way.

What holds us back from speaking up? Do we actually believe our career path will be compromised by leading? Could we be ostracized from our peer group for addressing the very public skeleton in our shared corporate closet? 

"It is perhaps the greatest failure of leadership...that is... to passionately espouse the values of the organization, and fail so miserably to hold it's leaders to that standard."

Speak Up or Fail
Consider what happens to the front line employees when leaders are allowed to behave like fools:
- morale tumbles
- engagement evaporates
- turnover rises
- revenue dwindles

Why would we ever wish for these things to happen to our organizations? Yet, when we remain silent on leadership behavior, we are stating quite loudly that we WANT these terrible things to happen. 

There is no in-between stance...if you do not speak up and coach, counsel, or discipline poor leadership behavior, you are in fact endorsing a dark and painful course for your company.

How About You
I don't even have to already have the name of the person in your head that fits this post. So, what will you do the next time they 'do their thing?" Perhaps stare at your shoes and hope they stop talking; or, have a very direct, professional, and purposeful discussion with them?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


What comes to mind when you hear the term influencer? Is it a prolific blogger or motivational speaker? Perhaps it's a celebrity or someone 'larger than life?' Maybe it's someone with a ba-zillion followers on a social channel?

While those labels have merit, they are far from what I now believe a true influencer actually is.

You Are Bigger Than the Internet
I'm not even sure I was aware of the term 'influencer' before the age of the Internet and social media. But I had important influencers in my life ranging from family members and teachers, to college professors and leaders in the workplace.

They made a tremendous impact on my life, and no one had even heard of something called a tweet yet.

You Are More Than Your Job
As I moved into formal leadership roles and later senior management positions, the impact of my own influence started to become clear. Not only did I have 'automatic influence' simply because of my authority level, I found that I had the ability to make a difference personally with my colleagues and team members.

That is powerful!

When influence becomes a responsibility instead of a chase for followers, one's mindset begins to shift. 

How About You
Consider the individual moments in your life...with family, friends, colleagues and peers. Those little encounters, private coaching moments, shared insights and bold decisions are what really define being an 'influencer.'

What do you think?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.